Nickel Sees Small LME Price Drop, Economic Data to Blame

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Speculators trimmed their positions in nickel yesterday, taking negative cues from overseas markets including mixed data from Chinese manufacturing reports. Nickel, the alloying metal of stainless steel, had been on a weeks-long climb previously and will likely recover in days as demand for stainless steel continues unabated.

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With a decline of 1.5 percent on the LME to $15,800 per metric ton on Monday, March 31, the nickel 3-month price recorded the biggest decline of the day. The spot price of nickel weakened by 1.2 percent on the LME, settling at $15,765 per metric ton. After falling for two days, the cash price of primary Indian nickel rose 0.1 percent to INR 960.00 ($16.04) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed yesterday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,338) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,375) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese primary nickel inched up 1.1 percent to CNY 102,500 ($16,523) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 26,000 ($4,191) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,644) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,100 ($2,595) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,644) per metric ton.

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